INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- Hundreds of people waited for their chance to meet Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer Friday.
Many fans fear it may be their final opportunity to see Hosmer as part of their hometown team.
A long line of Royals fans gathered to see the 2015 World Series champion, for what may be the last time in a Royals uniform.
Hosmer greeted dozens of Royals fans with a smile, as many thanked him for the happy memories.
"We`re going to miss you," said Nan Beam of Independence. "It will be kind of depressing but what are we going to do. He`s got to go."
Hosmer becomes a free agent after Sunday's final game of the season and he says a lot of time will be focused on remembering what he and his teammates have accomplished.
"Just wanted to do everything the right way, on and off the field," Hosmer said. "Dayton and his staff put a lot into not only us being good baseball players, but good people off the field. Doing everything the right way, that`s what everybody wants to be remembered as."
The face of the franchise says he recognizes it's not going to be the same Royals team in 2018, and many Royals fans who waited to meet him say they will always cherish the memories he helped provide of a team that played hard.
"It will be rough but we will always have 2014-15," said Jason Parker, a Royals fan who received Hosmer's autograph. "So I mean all my parents and everybody talk about '85. We`ll be talking about those two years the rest of our lives. Instead of George Brett we`ll be talking about Eric Hosmer."
And though fans wish Hosmer the best, virtually no one here wants to see him in Yankee pinstripes.
Hosmer says he doesn`t know what the future holds, but he says he did enjoy every moment of his time in Kansas City.
Royals General Manager Dayton Moore has said that the team will do everything it can to keep some of its star players. And that may start with trying to resign Eric Hosmer.